As we live here in California longer and longer we notice differences that we didn't see as much early on. In Utah you can buy your gear along side your groceries in your local neighborhood Walmart. If you want more of a selection then drive five minutes to the nearest sporting goods store. We tried to plan a trip to Utah to replace his lost gear but work right now is taking a lot of his time so it wasn't going to happen. Instead we found this little southern California treasure. Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga was a little taste of our Utah home.
Our little Annie Oakley popped a few quarters in the machine at the shooting gallery. She used half of the 25 shots and I used the other half. Together we almost beat the toddler next to us. Turns out it was harder than it looked but we had a blast. The store is filled with things to see and do. Its more of an experience than just a shopping trip. Brandan was able to buy his much needed camo for his upcoming trip but we were also able to buy some hot sauce and fudge, look at woodsy bedding sets and feel like we were in a frozen forest filled with animals of all kinds.
Around every corner and up every wall was an outdoor scene to gaze upon. I was startled with the man perched on the rocks above the pond until I realized he wasn't someones unruly child. It wasn't my child at least. Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga features over 3,500 local area antiques and artifacts, over 400 fish and animal mounts and wall after wall of beautiful murals dedicated to the outdoor experience near by. The aquarium holds over 8,000 gallons and its not just a tank. There is a stream and waterfall so real its like being in the mountains. The fish inside it seem to be right at home. And no, the person in the stream isn't a real person either.
One thing I loved was the footprints in the floor. There were stamped animal shapes and their true to size prints to follow. You could find the animal and see the prints or find the prints first and see if you could guess the animal by the time you found it. Fun and learning! Woohoo, parenting win!
Overall it was a great escape from the rush of a busy week. Brandan has his gear and he is ready to hit the hills with his great buddy he hasn't spent a lot of time with lately. I mean this in the most loving and caring ways. I'm a tiny bit baffled on the logic of hunting. We buy the tags and the permits. We buy the guns, bullets, camo and lets not forget the sounds echoing from my house of the various turkey calls. We pay a small fortune to put him in our tent and eat junk food. If my math is anywhere near correct we could have purchased around 50 fat frozen turkeys from the frozen section and still come out ahead. If he is happy that makes me happy so off he goes. Happy trails Brandan and don't forget your GPS or your cowbell. (Ask him about that when you see him next).
Life isn't always perfectly predictable. I guess really its often more of weathering the storm and making the best of it. Lost hunting gear isn't my happiest memory. It baffles me where we might have placed it. I keep telling my kids, in life you will find what ever it is you are looking for. While we didn't find our hunting gear we did find a great adventure. If you are focusing on all the rough patches in life that is all you will see. Click this link to listen to the song I hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack and live it. I'm choosing to look at this as one more happy adventure. Extra camoflague is never a bad thing. Part of learning to dance in the rain is the attitude you bring to it. So here I will bring you a special treat. Its a game, a bit like wheres Waldo.
Can you see the mighty hunter in the trees below?
I hope you dance.